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January 23, 2019
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Engaging with Your Audience on Social Media

by Jessica Paek on 01/11/19 10:38:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

We did a blog post on effectively using social media, and we wanted to elaborate on some of the points brought up in that article.

Whatever size your community currently is, there are even more people out there who would be your fans if they knew about you. A big part of getting the most out of your social media is by engaging with your audience: the people who know they’re your fans, and the ones who are waiting to discover you.

Do you know where your audience is?

Certain social media platforms have analytic tools built in that allow you to see where your traffic is coming from on a world map. Knowing where people are accessing your pages from can help you pin down the right posting times to maximize your efforts.

If you’re using Twitter’s standard analytics page, it doesn’t track your traffic from different regions. However, you can work around this by seeing what times your tweets get the most engagement and work from there. From there, you look through high performing tweets and get a better guess as to where your audience is coming from.

You might be in the U.S., but you might find that you have engagement from Europe or South America. With that information, you can make better judgements about when to post. For example, maybe you get a lot of activity from Los Angeles around 6PM PST, when a lot of people are off work. Wherever you are, you might try to tailor your posting schedule to that region.

Branding yourself on social media

At this point, talking about what is and isn’t “on brand” has almost become a joke. Top social media influencers and those with experience marketing games will likely be able to attest to the importance of solid branding. For example, if your indie game studio develops horror games, you might want to have a more serious tone across the board for your social channels.

Building on that point, one case for creating a focused brand for your indie game studio or channel is simply that it can make it way easier to build a social media marketing campaign.

If you develop a clear brand, it makes it much easier to draft posts for social media and communicate with your audience. Your messaging will be more concise and consistent, which will help you connect with your community more.

It might seem kind of restrictive to limit the scope of what you post if you aren’t already working on getting your branding down. We’re all multi-faceted people with lots of different interests, so you might think that your social channels should reflect that. Unfortunately, when you’re trying to get noticed among hundreds (sometimes thousands) of other accounts someone is following, it can get a little confusing sometimes.

Organic engagement: why is it so important?

We’re all trying to gain traction on social media and generate a lot of activity on our various accounts, because social media is an incredible tool for organic engagement. Whether you’re marketing games or trying to grow your stream, it’s important to participate in the right discussions to stay relevant with your audience.

Organic engagement is important for:

  • Growing your following
  • Building/furthering your brand
  • Establishing yourself within a community

Examples of organic engagement would be:

  • You post videos and GIFs of your game development, you reply to some comments. The people you replied to follow you and wishlist your game.
  • You tweet jokes and people tune into your stream because they think you’re funny.

The opposite of organic engagement is transactional engagement, which comes from a prompt or some sort of call-to-action. Examples of transactional engagement would be: follows you get from a giveaway you’re doing, paid advertisements, or influencer marketing campaigns.

While a comprehensive social media campaign includes a healthy mix of organic and transactional engagement, today we’re going to focus on organic engagement.

Participate in discussions that are relevant to your brand

For indie studios who are doing their own game PR, and for content creators looking to become top social media influencers, interacting on social media can help you connect with your audience and draw in new fans.

Chime in on trending topics. If you see a certain hash tag is trending on Twitter, that’s a good time to get in on the conversation. Being an active member of the indie gaming community not only helps you stay up-to-date on important issues, but can also help drive traffic to your social media pages and boost your organic engagement.

If you find that certain posts perform well with the type of users you want to target, keep posting more content like that. The most important part is that you’re reaching the right people. Getting tons of likes and followers is great, but it doesn’t mean much if you can’t mobilize that community.

Authenticity goes a long way when marketing games

For indie game studios and for brand influencers, it can be tough to compete with top social media influencers or with studios that can afford to hire the biggest video game marketing companies.

So much of marketing games is trial and error, and your audience is out there, waiting to be discovered. With the right timing and consistent communication, you can connect with your fans and grow your community.

Even if you can’t afford to hire a video game PR agency to help you build your brand or do your collateral marketing, you can still reach the right people with a some careful planning and a little persistence.

For more guides on video game marketing, check out our how-to guide section of our blog. Be sure to follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Redditfor the latest news and updates from the Indie Boost team!


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